Pickin’ the Big Ten: March 6-8

 

Minnesota hosts Notre Dame this weekend while Michigan hosts rival Michigan State. (Jim Rosvold)

The Big Ten Tournament gets underway this weekend with Ohio State, Michigan and Minnesota hosting Wisconsin, Michigan State and Notre Dame. After wrapping up the regular-season title while watching the games on TV last weekend, Penn State will once again be idle this weekend after it earned the bye week for the first round.

Last week
Drew: 2-1-3 (.583)
Paula: 2-1-3 (.583)

This season
Drew: 81-54-16 (.589)
Paula: 71-64-16 (.523)

This Week

I predicted Ohio State winning the Big Ten last weekend and Paula picked Minnesota. So, naturally, congratulations are in order for Penn State. This weekend should be just as crazy, if not more.

Our official prediction for the rest of the season: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Paula did a great job previewing everything in this week’s column, so I won’t spend a lot of time repeating her work here.

All times are local and Sunday games are if necessary.

Notre Dame at No. 19 Minnesota
Friday at 7:00 p.m., Saturday at 7:00 p.m., Sunday at 6:00 p.m.

Sitting in a tie for 15th in the PairWise going into this weekend, the Gophers probably need a run to the Big Ten title game for a shot at an at-large bid. At that point, you might as well win the whole thing and guarantee your spot. Notre Dame, who needs the automatic bid, swept last year’s Big Ten Tournament by going 4-0 over the three weekends. The Irish had the luxury of playing every game at home, however.

Drew: Notre Dame 3-2, Minnesota 4-2, Notre Dame 4-2
Paula: Minnesota 4-3, Notre Dame 3-1, Minnesota 3-2

Wisconsin at No. 11 Ohio State
Friday at 7:00 p.m., Saturday at 7:00 p.m., Sunday at 7:00 p.m.

This rematch from last week could be the most intriguing matchup in the first round of the tournament. It certainly doesn’t have the feel of a No. 2 seed playing against the team that finished last. The Badgers took five of six conference points in Columbus last weekend.

Drew: Ohio State 4-3, 4-2
Paula: Wisconsin 3-2, Ohio State 4-3, Wisconsin 5-2

Michigan State at Michigan
Friday at 7:00 p.m., Saturday at 7:00 p.m., Sunday at 6:00 p.m.

It doesn’t get much better than an in-state rivalry in the playoffs. These two teams have met four times this season with Michigan State sweeping the home-and-home series in November and Michigan returning the favor three weeks ago.

Drew: Michigan State 4-2, Michigan 3-1, Michigan 4-3
Paula: Michigan 3-1, Michigan State 2-1, Michigan 3-2

Tweet us!

We’re on Twitter, @drewclaussen and @paulacweston. Follow along as a certain SID from Minnesota voices his displeasure with my Gophers/Irish prediction!

Enjoy the games, everyone! We’ll talk about how wrong we were next week.